Op-Ed: No Good Options For Speaker

By Marian Currinder and Joshua Huder

The federal government has shut down for the first time since 1996 and all eyes are focused on House Speaker John Boehner. Will he continue to insist upon tying a repeal or delay of Obamacare to a funding bill? Or will he bring the Senate-passed funding bill to the House floor and hope that he can convince 17 Republicans to join hands with the chamber’s 200 Democrats and vote to re-open the federal government?

It all depends on whether he chooses to follow or ignore the Hastert Rule. The choice isn’t an easy one, as his speakership quite likely hangs in the balance.

The Hastert Rule is named after former Speaker Dennis Hastert, who did not bring bills to the floor unless those bills were supported by a majority of House Republicans. It is not a formal rule, but rather a promise to uphold the will of a majority of the majority. House Republicans expected Boehner to uphold the rule and he pledged to do so.

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